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Study of Sustainable Development Initiatives and Strategies (Rioplus)

Research Team:

Mireia Taradell
Doris Tharan

Deutsche Gesellschaft für Technische Zusammenarbeit (GTZ)
Dec 15, 2003 — May 31, 2004
Contact Person:
Dr. Klaus Jacob

Project partners:

International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD)
Stratos Consult (Canada)

Project description

The GTZ-pilot project "Environmental Policy and the Promotion of Strategy Processes for Sustainable Development" (Rioplus) aimed at delivering policy advice regarding the development and implementation of sustainable development strategies. One of the projects main tasks was the constant monitoring of worldwide discussions and practical state-of-the-art of such strategic processes. For this purpose, the project collected and analysed informations related to the process of implementing sustainable developement strategies in developed and developing countries. This study updated latest country experiences and undertook cross-country analysis for best-practice.

Challenges, Approaches and Innovations in Strategic and Co-ordinated Action:

In this international and collaborative research project, the involved researchers studied and learned from strategic and co-ordinated action toward SD taken at the national level in 19 countries, before and after WSSD.

Full Report:

National Strategies for Sustainable Development: Challenges, Approaches and Innovations in Strategic and Co-ordinated Action
The 2002 World Summit on Sustainable Development reiterated a call to all countries to “make progress in the formulation and elaboration of national strategies for sustainable development and begin their implementation by 2005.” A national sustainable development strategy is not simply a document, but rather it is a continuing and adaptive process of strategic and co-ordinated action.
To assist government sustainable development officials in realizing this process, this report studied 19 developed and developing countries and identified key challenges faced by countries in relation to the strategic management aspects of national sustainable development strategies including leadership, planning, implementation, monitoring and review, co-ordination, and participation. The innovative approaches and tools observed in the 19 countries studied in relation to these strategic management aspects were featured to create a pragmatic toolbox for government sustainable development managers and policy-makers.

Country Case Studies:

These 19 country case studies has formed the knowledge base for the synthesis report. Information in the country case studies was obtained primarily from publicly available sources (e.g., government Internet sites, literature sources) and, where possible, was supplemented through interviews with government officials. The information was up-to-date as of May 2004. Every effort was made to ensure that official national sustainable development focal point contacts had the opportunity to provide feedback on the research, but such contacts were not successful in all cases. These case studies are in an unedited, working paper format.

Final Report and Country studies published:


Challenges, Approaches and Innovations in Strategic and Co-ordinated Action